Why do some winters cause plumbing problems, and some winters don’t?

That can be a frustrating question to ponder. When it seems like nothing has changed in the way your home operates, even the winter may not seem as harsh as some of the winters before, there it is anyway, a freezing septic system. And a big mess.

Freezing Problems With Septic Systems

In reality, septic systems can freeze due to a variety of reasons.

Very little snow cover – Snow actually serves as insulation over a septic tank. When there is little snow, deep freezes and frosts can go deeper into the ground, potentially freezing your septic system.

Compacted landscape – The area above your septic tank should be kept clear of use. When driveways or paths occur over a septic tank, cars, animals, ATVs, tractors, even foot traffic can compact the area above the septic tank, allowing a deep freeze to move deeper into the soil.

Lack of plant cover – If your septic system is new, or was replaced in the late summer or early fall seasons, adequate vegetation may not have covered up the land before the cold and snow set in. Vegetation helps attract snow to the area, providing more insulation above ground.

Irregular use – Was your septic system designed for a large family, and now you’re down to one or two? Do you spend months away from your home, enjoying a lifestyle in a warmer climate during the cold winter months? If a system isn’t used as it was intended, it can begin to stress and allow freezing temperatures to infiltrate the system.

Leaking plumbing – You know that small trickle of water you can hear even when your toilet hasn’t been flushed? Those tiny leaks in your pipes can cause a thin film of water into the system. These trickles are more susceptible to freezing, and can build up quickly over time, allowing your system to freeze completely.

Cold air entering the system – When was the last time your septic system was looked at and inspected? If risers are uncapped, inspection pipes or manhole covers not reinstalled correctly, they can allow cold air to enter the system. Freezing isn’t far behind.

While some septic systems never have problems, the only way to avoid them in the future is to be proactive every year.

  • Mulch is a good insulator. If you’ve changed your landscaping or added a new septic system late in the year, a solid cover of mulch will help provide insulation in the coming months.
  • Let the grass grow longer in the fall to act as an insulator and allow snow to accumulate better.
  • Use warmer on a regular basis. If temperatures are cold and dip low quickly, allow as warm of water as possible to flow through your pipes.
  • Fix any leak in your plumbing as soon as you know it exists. Don’t let small trickles of water create a costlier problem.
  • Double check risers, pipes and manhole covers whenever you access your septic system. Make sure they are sealed tight.

If you suspect your septic system has frozen, its time to call in a professional plumber. The root of the problem must be determined and fixed to avoid further freezing problems either in what’s left of this winter, or as the temperatures freeze again next winter. If you have any questions, we’d be happy to help.

Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

Starting a remodeling project? Statistics show that kitchens and bathrooms are not only the top rooms to have remodeled in your home, they are also at the top of the list of adding to your home’s overall resale value.

Nothing can be more exciting than starting the process. As you pour over home improvement magazines and websites showcasing the latest trends, you can quickly pick out the things you would love to have, and things that aren’t quite as important. The double oven … yes. The eight burner stove … maybe not.

Don’t Neglect Your Plumbing During A Home Remodeling Project

But as you start down the remodeling road, chances are you’ve focused your attention on the aesthetics of your project rather than the functionality. And with good reason. If you aren’t a contractor as your day job, you probably have never thought about how things work and what keeps them working day after day.

Usually home improvement projects have some degree of plumbing work involved. It may be as simple as replacing a faucet or adding a new toilet, or more complicated such as adding a double sink to the master bath, or a pot filler faucet near the stove. With the amount of resources available to today’s consumers, many are determined to do at least some of the work themselves. HGTV makes it look so easy; why not?

This is where problems can occur very quickly.

Plumbing is one of the most important – and most dangerous – systems in your home to work with, especially if you have little experience in doing so. Here are a couple of scenarios we’ve encountered over the years.

  • One couple completely gutted and remodeled their master bath, adding a walk in shower and moving the double sink vanity over a few inches. While they put their all into securing the plumbing, they missed a tiny leak, and sealed it in behind the shower tile. The leak was small – just a drip or two every day. But water doesn’t take long before it escalates into big problems. In a matter of months, they noticed their shower walls were “soft”. When they removed a few tiles to find the problem, they quickly discovered black mold; and had to have an entire remediation team fix the problem.
  • One homeowner remodeled their 1960s kitchen with DIY techniques. They didn’t change the floor plan; instead just added upgraded cabinets, appliances and countertops. The look added value and made a huge impact on the overall look and feel of the home. But what the homeowner didn’t realize is the old piping was weak, filled with corrosion, and should have been replaced during the upgrade to avoid leaks that were inevitable in a short period of time.

Even with the simplest of remodeling projects, even if you choose to do much of the work yourself, it pays to have an experienced plumber inspect your plumbing system, and make changes as necessary. Water damage can cause disasters. Its better to be safe and know your remodel will last for years.

Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

Few things are as frustrating as a clogged pipe. In some circumstances, you may notice a buildup along the way; in other cases it may be an instantaneous thing.

No matter how big or small, when a clog occurs, your first instinct may be to grab a chemical drain cleaner to solve the problem. However, chemical drain cleaners can corrode or damage your pipes, which can cause irreparable problems down the road. And in a kitchen sink with a garbage disposal, the chemicals can also immediately impact the plastic components and the metal blades within the unit.

To avoid damaging your garbage disposal, do these few things instead.

Start by unplugging the garbage disposal – never work on a unit that has power.

How To Unclog Kitchen Sinks With A Garbage Disposal

Use a natural drain cleaner consisting of ¼ cup baking soda, followed by ½ cup white vinegar. Allow it to fizz for a few minutes. Then run the faucet with very hot water over the drain for two to three minutes. Repeat as necessary until the clog is removed.

If you still have a clogged drain, shine a flashlight down to see if you can find the clog. Is there a foreign object in the drain – a meat bone or even kitchen utensils have been known to cause severe problems. If you see the potential problem, reach in with a pain of tongs or a needle nose pliers.

Run water and turn the garbage disposal on. Does the water run clear? If its still clogged, continue to the next step.

If you have a dishwasher, locate the drain pipe underneath the sink that connects up with the garbage disposal. Clamp the end of the dishwasher drain line where it enters the disposal by placing a clamp over the nozzle. The clamp will prevent the hose from popping off the disposal nozzle as you plunge the sink drain.

Place the plunger directly over the sink drain so the plunger bell completely covers the drain basket. Run the faucet so the lip of the plunger is covered in water. Vigorously plunge the drain for up to a minute.

Lift the plunger and check the water flow. If still clogged, repeat this process a few times to see if you can release the clog. Once the water flows, run hot water for a few minutes to clear any residue.

If you still have a clog, its time to call in a professional.

Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

Have you walked down the toilet paper aisle at your favorite store lately? Shelf after shelf is lined with promises of softness, thickness, and a great quilted feeling you’re sure to love. You can go generic, you can go earth-friendly, you can go with a top name brand. You can choose a four pack, a twelve pack, or stock up for months with the largest jumbo sized package you can find.

But, while toilet paper companies are touting to you the benefits of choosing their brand, the one thing they aren’t telling you is how their brand might not be so great for your plumbing. Thick, soft toilet paper may be a great thing for you, but your plumbing doesn’t agree.

How Toilet Paper May Be The Cause Of Your Plumbing Problems

There are three ways in which toilet paper is doing your plumbing harm:

1. Pipes

When your plumbing pipes are first installed, the newness lets anything sail right through. But over time, the inside of your pipes begins to change. Oil and grease begins to congeal and adhere to the pipes, causing them to have rough edges and slight variations to the regular flow. Small particles begin to build up. And depending on the age of your plumbing, tiny cracks may allow landscaping to begin the search for water, and enter your pipes in the process. All of this causes tiny ridges for toilet paper to get stuck on, and continue building up the problem in your pipes at an accelerated pace.

2. Low Flow Toilets

There’s the good and the bad of low flow toilets. The good comes from saving water, which in our drought-ridden and water thirsty world is a good thing. The bad comes from lack of power. Less water means less water pressure to push waste down the pipes. If it doesn’t have the power to make it where its suppose to go, it can build up over time.

3. Flushable Wipes

A new product entered the market a few years ago, and is wrecking havoc across the Front Range. Flushable wipes say they are biodegradable, but study after study shows they aren’t. They take much more time to break down than standard toilet paper, and because of their thickness, they don’t move through your pipes as fluidly as toilet paper. An added problem is you have a low flow toilet too.

Here’s a quick way to see if you have the right toilet paper to avoid future plumbing problems. Take a sheet or two of toilet paper and drop them into your toilet. If a few minutes pass and they still look like sheets of toilet paper, they are too thick and are putting your plumbing at risk. Choose a lighter, thinner option; your plumbing will thank you.

Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

If you have a clogged toilet, or a leaky faucet, your automatic reaction would be to call in a plumber to have the problem fixed.

But what if the problem is more extensive? What if you come home to a bathroom that is completely flooded, with several inches of standing water? Is a plumber still the best person to call?Who Do I Call To Repair Water Damage In My Bathroom?

Find The Source

Water damage isn’t always to easy to figure out where the origination point is. It could ba a slow leak that suddenly ruptured and caused larger problems, or it could be an instant problem, such as a broken pipe or fixture. The key is finding the source and determining how large the problem is before you decide the course of action.

The minute you discover water damage, turn off the water to your home and call in a plumber. If you catch the problem early enough and clean up the water mess as quickly as possible, you can keep damages to a minimal.

The problem arises when water has time to sit and do serious damage. If a leak exists for weeks or even months, damage can grow beyond the simple fix. Mold and mildew can become not only a risk to your health, it’s a hazard to fix and repair. This is where a plumbers knowledge is invaluable; they understand how to trace the problem back to its origination point, and discover what’s truly going on with your water supply (whether its visible or not).

Repair The Damage

Only when the origin of the water problem is found and fixed can repair begin. If you begin repairs on the assumption you have the problem fixed, you may quickly realize the futility of the situation if flooding occurs again.

In the best case scenario, a plumber can fix the problem with a few simple repairs. Once the water is cleaned up, you can return to life as normal. Worst case scenario would have your bathroom suffering from structural damage, with mold and mildew ever-present throughout the room. In this case, a full remediation may be the only way to bring your bathroom back up to code.

No matter what the situation, the best place to start with any water damage is with a plumber. Your first step is finding the root of the problem. Once you determine the cause, its up to you decide the course of action. Is a simple repair in order? Or do you need a complete remodel, taking the entire room down to the studs? In either case, getting your bathroom back to full working order as fast as possible starts with a phone call. Call us today.

Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

When a home is originally constructed, several systems are put into place that allow you to function every day with little thought as to how it happens. The HVAC, the electrical, the plumbing systems – all are integral to helping us function.

While we might not spend a lot of time thinking about them, when damage occurs to one of them, its all you can think of. For instance, if one of your plumbing pipes has a crack and begins to leak, you might not be able to cook, take a shower, or even get a glass of water as you normally would.

When Its Time To Replace Your Home’s Old Pipes

Large cracks in a pipe are noticeable; small ones may take years before the damage is evident. But no matter how small the leak may seem, once you have a problem with your plumbing system, speed in repairs is the only thing that will allow you to stop the damage and get back to a normal routine.

Large problems are noticeable almost immediately. But what about the small problems? There are a few things you can watch for that will alert you to the fact you may have a plumbing problem.

Small water spots

One of the easiest ways to determine where the source of the problem is is to see it with your own eyes. A large puddle is a clear indicator; so is a small amount of water. If you regularly step on a spot in your home that is a little damp, it may be an indicator of a problem. If you see small spots of mold or mildew, it may be an indicator. If you have one area in your lawn that is greener than the rest, and always showcases the best landscape in your yard, that may be a sign of a leak. The best time to take action is when problems are still small; don’t wait for them to escalate.

Slow drains

Plumbing problems often arise quickly, and one of the easiest ways to notice is when your water supply doesn’t work the way it used to. When you turn on the water to wash your hands, does it take a while for the water to drain? Do you find yourself standing in water as you finish your shower? A slow drain that seems to form overnight may be a sign you have a clog near that fixture. If you notice more than one drain slowing down, it can be a clear indicator of a deeper problem.

Low water pressure

A home’s water supply is purposely kept high to create an easy flow at every entrance point in your home. If you notice lower pressure, it can be a sign of a clog or a leak that is allowing the water supply to move into other areas.

Remember, your plumbing is a system, and if one portion isn’t working correctly, it impacts the other areas of the system too. A trained plumber understands not only how to fix the problem at its source, but also how to look for damage that may have been caused in other areas. Before your home sustains damage from what could be a small plumbing issue, call in the experts today.

Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

Contemplating a remodel for the new year? Where should you begin? If you read the home improvement magazines, you know the top rooms to be remodeled are the kitchen and the bathroom – they have the most impact on your life, and will hold or improve the value of your home if you chose to sell.

But there’s another room in your home that may be worth looking at, especially if you have an older home … your laundry room.Bring The Laundry Room Out Of The Basement

The typical American will spend around 7 hours per week doing laundry. Manufacturers of washers and dryers say that the average load takes around 2 hours of time from start to finish. And the tasks involved – collecting the clothes, transporting them, sorting them, washing and drying them, folding or hanging them up, returning them to bedrooms – all take that much longer if you are going from an upstairs bedroom to a dark corner of your basement.

Ease will definitely be impacted if you move your laundry room from the basement up a level, and put it near the mudroom or the kitchen, or move it upstairs and place it by the bedrooms. And you may also add value to your home, as recent studies show those basement laundry facilities can cause the offer on your home to fall by 4 percent or more.

If a new laundry room is on your list of remodel projects, you’ll quickly find that it isn’t a do it yourself project. Laundry rooms need proper plumbing and ventilation in order to operate efficiently; start by speaking with a contractor to make sure your project meets all building code requirements. Costs will depend on where you place the laundry room, and the number of physical changes you make to your home in order to incorporate it into your home.

Space

A spare linen closet near the bedrooms can be adjusted to house a stackable washer and dryer. Or convert a small room into an elegant laundry room. Space is only an issue as you are deciding the number of accessories you choose to build into your laundry room. A standard washer and dryer needs approximately 6 feet wide by 3 feet deep. Add in sinks, folding tables, ironing boards, and areas to house supplies and detergents, and you can add in a few more feet.

Location

Laundry rooms need a few basic things to function properly. Plumbing and wiring are at the top of the list. Building codes also require flexible ductwork for the dryer and shut off valves for the washer. You may also need a structural engineer to make sure your floor joists can stand the constant movement of a washer. You’ll also have to fully insulate to deaden the sound if it backs to the master bath.

Gas or Electric?

Most dryers run from 30 to 32 inches in depth. You will need enough space for the dryer, plus at least 6 more inches of clearance for venting duct and gas connections (if using gas). Building codes will also determine which door type you’ll need – a vent with a fan is needed to bring in enough air for proper combustion for a gas dryer. You’ll also need to make sure the doorway is large enough to move the washer in and out easily.

Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

Tips For A Healthy Septic System Does your home operate with a septic system? If so, its important to provide regular maintenance to keep everything running efficiently, and avoid bigger problems down the road.

How often a system should be pumped depends on a number of factors:

  • The size of the tank
  • The number of people using the tank
  • How many gray water producing appliances are in use regularly
  • How much medication a person is using, since large amounts can impact the bacterial action of the tank

At a bare minimum, a septic tank should be pumped every 1 to 3 years. However, if your regularly scheduled maintenance is still a ways away, and you begin noticing:

  • Standing water in the leaching area
  • Lush vegetation
  • Odor or slow drainage in household drains
  • Sewage backup

It can be a sign of blockage, and maintenance work should be conducted as soon as possible.

While pumping regularly is the best way to maintain a healthy septic system, you should also be conscious of what is going down into your system, and change some of your daily patterns if necessary.

  • Never allow excess amounts of grease to enter your system
  • Don’t allow a water softener system to drain into your septic tank
  • Stagger laundry loads; you should never wash a dozen loads of laundry, allowing the soap to drain in the septic system all at once
  • Never use large amounts of chemicals, such as detergents, bleach, or chemical cleaners
  • Keep heavy equipment from driving or parking on your system
  • Never ignore plumbing leaks. Any leak can quickly saturate the system and turn small problems into large ones very quickly

If you have a plumbing problem, it could originate from your septic system. Pump regularly, stick with a routine maintenance schedule to reduce the chances of future problems, and give us a call whenever you have a question. No question is too small; and the small ones can help you eliminate the chance for large problems down the road.

Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

Nothing can be worse than walking into a room and finding a puddle of water. Water damage can quickly add up, so finding the root of the problem and fixing it fast is your only course of action.

Leaky pipes are big problems. But in some cases, it may take a little bit of time to get a plumber out to your home. If turning the water off at the source isn’t a solution – you still have to live in your home in the mean time – there are a few ways you can temporarily fix a leaky pipe.3 Quick Ways To Fix Your Leaky Pipes

 

Plumbers Epoxy

Plumbing epoxy is a putty like substance that is comparable to the molding clay you played with as a child. Turn off the water supply to the pipe you will be working on. Dry it off as much as you can. Take a small amount of epoxy and knead it a few times before molding it over the crack. Push it around the crack to make sure it adheres and covers the crack completely. Let it harden for a few minutes, then turn the water back on and look for leaks.

Pipe Repair Clamp

Start by turning off the water supply and drying the area thoroughly. Then wrap plastic or a rubber patch around the effected area. Seal it with electrical tape to hold it in place. Finally, fasten a clamp around the patch putting pressure on the seal. Test it before you continue using your fixture as normal.

Duct Tape

In many ways, duct tape is the cure-all for all kinds of home maintenance projects. And with a leaky pipe, its no exception. Turn off the water supply and dry the impacted area. Tightly wrap duct tape around the pipe, making sure to go beyond the area that is leaking. Its important to create a tight seal, as any space will allow water to seep through.

While none of these solutions will hold you for the long term, they will give you a chance to contact a reputable plumber and get them to your home as quickly as possible.

Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

Hiring a plumber isn’t something you do every day. In fact, in most cases its something you do in an unexpected, emergency situation, which makes the process that much more frustrating. You may have been saving money for something else, and all of a sudden you’re hit with a large bill.

Why does a plumber cost so much?

Well, there are several reasons for that.

First of all, when you hire a plumber for an emergency situation, its usually a fairly big problem within your home. Like a water heater that breaks, flooding your basement with several inches of water. Not only do you have to replace the water heater, but you have to replace all of the items damaged with flood water. Yes, the entire process can be very expensive.

Why Does A Plumber Cost So Much?

Even if you inquire for smaller jobs, the estimates can sometimes be higher than what you anticipate. Does it really cost that much to replace a toilet and faucets in a bathroom? Its only natural to question the fee that made it to the bottom of your estimate.

Which brings us to reason two. Plumbers charge what they do because of the time it takes to master their skill. Here in Colorado, there are three skill levels a plumber can achieve:

  • Residential plumber – 2 years on the job or 3,400 hours of practical experience
  • Journeyman plumber – 4 years or 6.800 hours of practical experience
  • Master plumber – 5 years of experience

Milestones for each are also capped off by a rigorous test, meaning if a plumber arrives at your door with one of these skill levels in place, they are well trained for whatever problems they face within your home.

We believe that all of our work should be completed satisfactorily the first time. Which is why we make sure all of our plumbers are well trained and experienced to trouble shoot, diagnose, evaluate, repair and install every type of plumbing fixture imaginable within your home. If you have a specific problem – sewer line problem, tankless water heater issue, boiler not working – we’ll make sure a well qualified plumber who has specific knowledge will answer the call.

The real value of a plumber not only comes from the skill and knowledge level of the plumber showing up at your door, it also comes from the company that he represents. We’ve built a business here in Denver over the last few years with thousands of happy customers all over the metro area. We do that by:

  • Being available 24/7, when you need us most
  • Treating your home with respect, as if it were our own
  • Providing you with options and letting you make the decision that’s right for your family
  • Providing an estimate before work is done, so you know the details before you make a final decision

While calling a plumber may be because of an emergency situation, we want to provide you with the best experience from the time we pick up the phone. We’re here for you … just call.

Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

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